EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Permitless carry of a firearm in Texas is almost law. The bill is awaiting final approval from the house before being sent to Gov. Greg Abbott to sign but was passed by the Senate.
The Director of Training at Sportsmans Elite an El Paso gun shop tells KTSM 9 News he anticipates sales in some items to go up after the bill is signed by the Governor.
“The holster sales have always kind of been there but now of course more people wanting to carry in public are going to need holsters to carry in public,” said Richard Garcia
Saying the number of new gun owners in the area has been going up since the Walmart Shooting. However, recently the shop has seen the number of people signing up for training classes decline slightly.
“The classes we have seen a little bit of a dip in people signing up for them but that has kind of been going on since the availability of ammunition has gone down as well as the talk of the constitutional carry passing in Texas,” said Garcia.
Stressing the importance of knowing how to operate, handle and maintain a gun before carrying it in public.
“Everybody’s really excited that this was going to happen, everybody was getting geared up towards it but they’ve got to remember again it’s a huge, huge responsibility to be carrying a gun in public,” said Garcia.
Texas Senator Cesar Blanco who represents El Paso voted against the bill, saying the community needs to prepare for the bill to go into effect.
“Communities need to brace themselves, I’m concerned that we’re going to see more people openly carry guns in public when you go out to eat the person next to you may have a gun holster to their hip,” said Senator Cesar Blanco.
However, Blanco adds that business owners who do not feel comfortable will have some options on how to handle customers who carry guns into their business.
“Businesses owners and others have the opportunity and have the right to let them know that they need to leave if they’re not comfortable. And if the individual carrying the gun does not leave it could be a $200 fine,” said Blanco.
Saying he expects Governor Abbott to sign the bill.
“El Pasoans have the opportunity to reach out to the governor and let them know if this is something that they want or don’t want,” said Blanco.
El Pasoan Carlos Moreno telling KTSM 9 News he is in favor of the bill.
“I think it’s good, I don’t see really harm coming from it. I see people who I know who own a fire arm they have all been incredibly safe, I think especially here in Texas gun safety is a huge deal,” said El Pasoan Carlos Moreno.
Another El Pasoan Bob Duran says he is a gun owner himself but feels that not much will change with the passing of the constitutional carry bill.
“I think it really falls on the responsibility of the owner,” said Duran. I think responsible people will remain responsible and I think irresponsible people will remain irresponsible. It’s my hope that the latter will not abuse the opportunity.”
The Texas Senate did make some changes to the bill including a measure that makes it so people who have been convicted of crimes in the past five years will not be able to carry a gun in Texas.